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Pulling a background with Apply Image

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Hair

Video: Pulling a background with Apply Image

In this exercise we are going to take our finished mask which we are currently seeing on screen and we are going to use it to composite the light-haired woman against a new background. I also have opened this image called Valley of Fire.jpg and we are going to go ahead and mask the image and introduce a new background blind. So we are going to essentially work the most efficient way possible. I just want you to see what that looks like and we are going to be taking advantage of the Apply Image command as well. So your first thing is to make sure that your final mask is the first alpha channel in the list so that it has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+6 or Command+6 on the Mac, and notice whichever alpha channel is on top, ends up getting that keyboard shortcut.

Pulling a background with Apply Image

In this exercise we are going to take our finished mask which we are currently seeing on screen and we are going to use it to composite the light-haired woman against a new background. I also have opened this image called Valley of Fire.jpg and we are going to go ahead and mask the image and introduce a new background blind. So we are going to essentially work the most efficient way possible. I just want you to see what that looks like and we are going to be taking advantage of the Apply Image command as well. So your first thing is to make sure that your final mask is the first alpha channel in the list so that it has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+6 or Command+6 on the Mac, and notice whichever alpha channel is on top, ends up getting that keyboard shortcut.

So if I just grab final mask, move it directly below blue, it's automatically Ctrl+6, again, Command+6 on the Mac. Now let's switch to the RGB image, and I will switch over to layers panel. We will not need to go back to the Channels panel now, because we are going to do everything from the keyboard. So double-click on the background item to bring up the New layer dialog box and we will call this layer WWF and click OK. Next press Control+Alt+6 or Command+Option+6 on the Mac to load up that first alpha channel as a selection outline, then drop down to the bottom of the layers panel, and click on the Add layer Mask icon.

So that's step number one. Step number two is to introduce the background image and we will do that by first creating a new layer below the active one. So press and hold the Ctrl+Alt keys or the Command+Option keys on the Mac and click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel. Because you have the Alt or Option key down that invokes a New layer dialog box. Let's go ahead and call this later VOF or Valley of Fire and click OK, and thanks to the fact that you have the Ctrl or Command key down, when you click the page icon you end up creating the new layer below the previous one.

Now let's introduce Valley of Fire into this new layer by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Apply Image command. Notice its source. By default it's going to be set to the foreground image. You want to change it to Valley of Fire.jpg. In order for that to happen both of the images have to be exactly the same physical size, so they have to measure the same number of pixels wide and the same number of pixels tall just as my images do. So I'll go ahead and choose Valley of Fire, the image also has to be open, by the way; Next, you want to change the Blend mode to anything besides Add or Subtract, even something as wacky as Hard Mix is just going to plop the image down there.

Presumably you would want to use the proper mode which would be Normal, but you're going to get exactly the same effect. Make sure Opacity is set to 100%, your Channel should be set to RGB, so you're loading in the full color composite image, and all of the checkboxes should be turned off. Then go ahead and click OK in order to add the image. That really is the most expedient way to composite an image against a different background, but because I narrated the entire thing that might've gotten lost in the shuffle. So I am going to press the F12 key and I'll just run through the steps very quickly here so that you can get a sense without me narrating what's going on how quickly I can actually create this composition and how quickly of course you can go ahead and create such a composition as well.

Final step is to go up to the Apply Image command and click OK. So it really is a matter of a few seconds once you have a mask in place in order to create a full-fledged composition. Now the composition does need some work. I will go and zoom in over here, on the right-hand side, you can see that next to these nicely masked blonde hairs, we have this unnatural dark edge and we are going to get rid of that edge using a special technique that relies on the screen mode, but is very different from anything we've seen so far, in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Hair
Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Hair

38 video lessons · 17005 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 2m 14s
    1. Welcome
      2m 14s
  2. 41m 22s
    1. Introducing the hair masking options
      4m 18s
    2. Calculating with the Add mode
      5m 58s
    3. Using the Scale and Offset values
      3m 47s
    4. Calculating with the Subtract mode
      5m 19s
    5. Enhancing a mask with Apply Image
      4m 42s
    6. Traditional blue screen masking
      3m 7s
    7. Painting in the missing details
      4m 23s
    8. Compositing dark hair
      5m 47s
    9. Creating an in-text reflection effect
      4m 1s
  3. 41m 43s
    1. Creating a contrast mask
      4m 34s
    2. Cleaning up a base mask
      5m 55s
    3. Reinstating missing details
      5m 12s
    4. Building a second-pass mask
      6m 30s
    5. Bringing back the most fragile hairs
      5m 17s
    6. Smudging bad transitions
      5m 19s
    7. Painting in missing hairs
      5m 6s
    8. Matching the light source
      3m 50s
  4. 51m 12s
    1. Calculating blonde hair
      4m 50s
    2. Creating two contrasting iterations
      3m 27s
    3. Merging two iterations inside a mask
      4m 44s
    4. Performing selective edits with Dodge and Burn
      5m 19s
    5. Painting in Airbrush mode
      4m 30s
    6. Repairing details with a warped ellipse
      6m 18s
    7. Pulling a background with Apply Image
      3m 57s
    8. Blending clipped layers independently
      6m 42s
    9. Building a flame mask
      7m 25s
    10. Compositing and coloring the flame
      4m 0s
  5. 48m 16s
    1. Making a first-pass calculation
      4m 54s
    2. Making a second-pass calculation
      4m 32s
    3. Refining and combining the two passes
      5m 28s
    4. Painting and editing the third-pass mask
      6m 16s
    5. Merging channels inside a mask
      4m 5s
    6. Cleaning up with Dodge and Brush
      7m 41s
    7. Adding the earring to the mask
      4m 16s
    8. Tweaking and integrating the hair
      6m 1s
    9. Restoring the mask's focus with History
      5m 3s
  6. 1m 17s
    1. Next steps
      1m 17s

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